Can­di­dates spruik plans for busi­ness

Pilbara News - - State Election 2017 - Tom Zaun­mayr

With the State elec­tion draw­ing near, Pil­bara can­di­dates are push­ing their plans to en­cour­age more peo­ple to turn busi­ness ideas into re­al­ity and boost ex­ist­ing es­tab­lish­ments to fill the void of small busi­nesses in the re­gion.

For ev­ery story of a busi­ness open­ing at the mo­ment, there is an­other story of clo­sure, with un­cer­tainty about the fu­ture of the lo­cal econ­omy play­ing on busi­ness own­ers’ minds and bot­tom lines.

Pil­bara MLA and WA Na­tion­als Leader Bren­don Grylls said there was no doubt busi­ness was un­der pres­sure, but the suc­cess sto­ries should give rea­son for op­ti­mism.

“In that ser­vice in­dus­try we are see­ing emer­gence of some new busi­nesses which is a pos­i­tive, but it does not mask the fact that for many, con­di­tions are still tight,” he said.

Mr Grylls said the WA Na­tion­als’ pledge to lift the pay­roll tax thresh­old to $5 mil­lion, funded by a spe­cial lease rental in­crease, would free up funds for 10,000 small busi­nesses to rein­vest in new em­ploy­ees and ex­pan­sion.

La­bor Mem­ber for Mining and Pas­toral Stephen Daw­son said one only had to walk through Pil­bara shop­ping cen­tres to see the plight of small busi­ness at the mo­ment.

“Our plan for jobs is big-pic­ture stuff, but if you can bring big jobs to the re­gions, the flow-on ef­fect is small busi­ness can thrive and flour­ish,” he said.

Mr Daw­son said WA La­bor’s plan to strengthen lo­cal con­tent re­quire­ments for Gov­ern­ment projects was part of the so­lu­tion.

Greens can­di­date Brent McKenna said an em­pha­sis on re­new­able en­ergy would boost small busi­nesses.

He said jobs could be cre­ated by retrofitting houses and busi­nesses with so­lar equip­ment, mak­ing lithium bat­ter­ies and LNG-based plas­tic prod­ucts.

“Small busi­ness needs pop­u­la­tions to serve, so we will en­sure set­tle­ment takes prece­dence over ... FIFO,” he said.

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